Building Secure and Transparent Elections Through Standard Operating Procedures

Working Paper No.: 
65
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez

Election reform has evolved since the 2000 election. One issue that has remained at the forefront of public debate is how to build confidence in the election process. The foundation for confidence is based on procedures for electoral security and transparency. In this article, the authors use legal theories of evidence and public administration theories related to standard operating procedures to consider how election fraud—and claims of fraud—can be prevented by having effective and rigorous chain of custody procedures. Using case studies, they show how such chains of custody can be implemented and examine which states have processes and procedures that promote the transparency that is critical for public examination of the electoral process. They conclude with consideration of best practices in this area.

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